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  CNN    The Situation Room    News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting  
   and online resources update international news. New.  

    September 19, 2012
    4:00 - 7:00pm EDT  

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going up for the past six month. rising prices are a good sign. it means we could have finally hit a bottom. the recovery could really be taking hold in the housing market and more good news is that this report is just the latest in a string of mostly positive housing readings after getting too many bad ones, brooke. there you go, the closing bell. the dow ending 13 points higher today. >> beautiful. alison kosik, thank you so much. huge thank you to all of you for watching each and every day here. if you want to see a story or interview that you missed, go to cnn.com/brooke. now to wolf blitzer, "the situation room" begins now. brooke, thanks very much. happening now, mitt romney goes all-in instead of backing away remarks from democrats and even some republicans feel was a major mistake. accusing president obama of making americans dependent on government. also, giving a chance to hit back. president obama holds his fire. we're digging into what his strategy might be. and just off the assembly line
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our brand new poll from one of the states that potentially could decide the presidential election. john king is on the ground in michigan with the latest numbers. i'm wolf blitzer, you're in "the situation room." we begin with the brand new counteroffensive mitt romney's launching only 48 days before the presidential election. instead of trying to explain away his secretly videotaped complaint that the 47% of u.s. voters who support president obama are dependent on government, romney's trying to turn the controversy to his political advantage. our national political correspondent jim acosta is covering romney's latest stop in atlanta. >> reporter: wolf, mitt romney
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is now owning his message that too many americans are dependent on the government. he's trying to parlay a gift he received from the drudge report into a new counteroffensive. mitt romney is not running from what he said in those hidden camera videos. he's embracing it. >> this is how america works. it does not work by a government saying become dependent on government. >> reporter: the gop nominee is now weaving his controversial riff on government dependency into his campaign speeches like the one he gave at this fundraiser in atlanta. >> 47% people will vote for president obama no matter what. they depend on government very much. >> reporter: less than two days after explaining this leak to mother jones, he published an op-ed in usa today saying under president obama we have a stagnant economy that fosters government dependency. add to that comments made by
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then-state senator obama in 1998 lead to the drudge report. and the gop is trying to get back in business. take the new web video tying the remarks to what the romney campaign considers to be a history of anti-business rhetoric from the president. and new lines of attack from the top. >> this idea of redistribution follows from the idea that if you have a business, you didn't build it. someone else did that. it's the same concept. >> reporter: and bottom of the ticket. >> president obama said that he believes in redistribution. [ audience booing ] mitt romney and i are not running to redistribute the wealth. mitt romney and i are running to help americans create wealth. >> if we win on november 6th -- >> reporter: the romney campaign had been all over the map on the hidden camera video.
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and local tv interviews paul ryan seemed to say romney used a poor choice of words. >> he was obviously inarticulate in making this points. the point we're trying to make here is under the obama economy government dependency is up and economic stagnation is up. >> reporter: still some in the gop are piling on. and "the wall street journal" columnist wrote there is a broad and growing feeling now among republicans that this thing is slipping out of romney's hands. democratic leaders took to the senate floor in the hopes of making the tape stick. >> we remember the highlights, corporations are people, my friend. he said, i like being able to fire people. >> reporter: and romney has more damage control to do after saying in that hidden camera video that he might have an easier time being elected president as a latino, he's campaigning in florida where he'll be reaching out to who else but hispanic voters. wolf. >> jim acosta, thank you. and we have new information just
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coming into "the situation room." a brand new cnn/orc poll shows president obama opening up a 52% to 44% lead in michigan. that's an eight-point margin for the president in the state where mitt romney grew up. our chief national correspondent john king is in michigan. he's been talking with michigan voters. he's joining us now from the detroit suburb of sterling heights. john, walk us through what you're finding out as well as more on this poll. >> reporter: wolf, as you noted, mitt romney was born here. he went to high school in the next county. during the republican primaries he told all the republicans across the country he was more electable, a, because of his business experience, but, b, he could put reliably blue states in red. sixteen electoral college votes but our new poll numbers suggest governor romney might have to look elsewhere. it is the defining question in a statement romney was counting on as a fall battleground. >> who do you think would do a
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better job of improving the economy, the republicans or democrats? >> reporter: romney was born and raised here and his father was governor and an auto industry ceo. but so far all signs point to michigan and its 16 electoral votes staying blue, in the president's column. a new cnn/orc poll shows the president with an eight-point lead statewide among likely voters and a 13-point edge in the critical detroit suburbs. >> he's pretty down to earth when you meet him. i don't think he comes across as much that way when you see him on television. >> reporter: gop chairwoman still holds out hope but concedes time is getting tight. >> the philosophies are different enough, but people also want to vote for someone they like. for some reason they don't seem to connect with romney the way they do with obama. >> reporter: it's not that michigan is booming, hardly. the unemployment rate is 9%, but that's down from 11.3% when president obama took office. and again while hardly gang busters, manufacturing
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employment is up 57,500 jobs during the obama presidency. 34,000 of those in the auto industry. >> you feel rejuvenated, you feel, yes, we have a future. >> reporter: he was laid off in 2009 as chrysler teetered on the work of collapse. he was looking for work in texas and tennessee when help came from washington. you think you're working today because of president obama? >> yes. he didn't come through and give that vote say, yes, we have to save chrysler, we have to save gm. we got to do this. all sterling heights would have been gone, would have been dead. >> reporter: a pro-romney super pack is making one more push. but the romney campaign isn't spending any money. and the candidate himself hasn't visited in a month. >> i love being home. >> reporter: barring some sudden shift even top romney allies here expect the focus to be elsewhere. if you look deep into our new poll numbers, wolf, the two candidates, governor romney and
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president obama, they're splitting the suburbs statewide. so why then is the president winning big? a narrow lead among men, a big lead among women and a 13-point lead among union households. some evidence that support for the auto bailout is helping him in this blue collar state, wolf. >> indeed. if it's not going to be michigan for romney, where else should he be looking? >> reporter: well that is the big challenge because governor romney first thought he could put pennsylvania in play. nobody thinks that's possible right now. they still say they'll make a late run at michigan. a lot of republicans here we've spoken to are quite skeptical. so where next? they say the midwest is critical. that's one reason for the paul ryan pick. they thought they could put wisconsin in play. two new polls in the last 24 hours show the president opening a lead in wisconsin as well. when you look at the map and find governor reen's path to 270, where can he put the president on defense? hard to find those states at the moment. >> key words at the moment. we'll see what happens three presidential debates obviously
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could be really, really important. i'm sure they will be. john, thanks very much. the michigan results are just one of many new swing state polls showing the president pulling ahead of mitt romney. we're joined now by our chief political analyst gloria borger. you've been studying these polls. i have as well. what caught your eye specifically? >> what first caught my eye in the nbc "the wall street journal" report, it's about an increasing level of optimism in this country that really plays to the president. take a look at this. the question was asked, will the nation's economy get better in a year? now 42%, that's still not half. but look, just over a year ago 22%. so almost double the amount believe that the economy is getting better. that's very good for the president. what's also good for the president and important to the president and we saw this a little bit in john king's piece is that people believe he understands their problems. he feels their pain, as bill clinton would say.
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take a look at this on a pew poll that just came out today, which candidate connects well with ordinary americans? i mean about three-to-one, wolf, obama versus romney. you see that there. and of course after mitt romney's 47% remark, now infamous. that doesn't help him with middle class voters believing he understands their problems or understands the issue of government dependency or victimization. so two bad numbers for mitt romney. >> any good numbers that you're seeing in any of these polls? >> there are. >> for romney i'm talking about. >> there are. and, again, it's in "the wall street journal" poll. the question was asked of voters who are the most interested in this election, theysked them, who will you vote for for president? take a look at this. among most interested voters 49% to 46%. so what the romney campaign is hoping that the people who are
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the most interested, wolf, will translate into the most enthusiastic voters because an advantage in turnout of one, two or three points could make all the difference in the key battleground states john king was just talking about. and so that would be huge for the romney campaign. so, again they're hoping interested voters turn out to be enthusiastic for their candidate. >> john mentioned this michigan not looking very good for romney right now. >> no. >> wisconsin even though also paul ryan, a son of wisconsin, is on the ticket. two new polls in wisconsin have romney losing to obama by six points in one poll, by 14 points in another poll. so the key question is, how does romney change this dynamic? based in the last week or two hasn't been good for him. >> well, i spent a lot of my day making calls to republicans about that. as you can guess there's no shortage of advice from republicans sitting outside the campaign who say romney has to do something. it's not good enough to just depend on changing the dynamic two weeks from now in a
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presidential debate. they believe there's a window now in the next two weeks when he can actually give a couple of serious speeches on foreign policy. the president's numbers on foreign policy by the way have declined by a handful of points recently. they believe there's an opening on foreign policy. and of course they want him to put more meat on the bones on the question of what he would do on domestic policy. in particular he has an advantage on who's going to fix the deficit. well, tell people how you're going to do it. tell them exactly how you want to reform the tax code. tell them exactly whose taxes you're going to cut, how you're going to help the middle class, which is by the way skeptical about you right now. so they think this is an opportunity for romney to lay out his vision. and they believe he should not leave it all to a presidential debate because then you're setting up such high expectations for romney's performance that it could be a real problem. >> yeah. remember, the presidential debates you're limited to how long your answers could be, a
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minute, minute and a half, two minutes, a lot of substance not necessarily going to come through in that relatively small amount of time. >> right. so i think there's internal debate going on within the campaign and also from their advisors outside the campaign about whether romney should do this now before the moment of the debates. >> yeah. he's got to do something if he's going to turn things around. we'll see what he does. thanks very much, gloria, for that. jack cafferty's been listening to the tape of president barack obama's 1998 comments about redistribution. he has some thoughts, wants to weigh-in. that happens next. [ woman ] it's 32 minutes to go time, and the candidate's speech is in pieces all over the district. the writer's desktop and the coordinator's phone are working on a joke with local color.
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the secure cloud just received a revised intro from the strategist's tablet. and while i make my way into the venue, the candidate will be rehearsing off of his phone. [ candidate ] and thanks to every young face i see out there. [ woman ] his phone is one of his biggest supporters. [ female announcer ] with cisco at the center... working together has never worked so well. [ female announcer ] with cisco at the center... one is for a clean, wedomestic energy future that puts us in control. our abundant natural gas is already saving us money, producing cleaner electricity, putting us to work here in america and supporting wind and solar. though all energy development comes with some risk, we're committed to safely and responsibly producing natural gas. it's not a dream. america's natural gas... putting us in control of our energy future, now. not quite knowing what the next phase was going to be, you know, because you been, you know, this is what you had been doing. you know, working, working, working, working, working, working.
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some of president obama's comments from many, many years ago making some news today. jack cafferty's following this part of the story. he's got the cafferty file. jack. >> his critics call him a socialist. they say he wants to redistribute the wealth of the nation from the haves to the have nots. now a newly surfaced 1998 clip of then-illinois state senator barack obama would seem to support those allegations. republicans are pushing the audio clip which they say was recorded at layola university. in it the president talks about what they call a prop began ta campaign against government funded programs. obama says he wants to resuscitate the idea that we're all in this together, leave nobody behind. and then obama goes onto say
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this. >> the trick is figuring out how do we structure government systems that pool resources and hence facilitate some redistribution because i actually believe in redistribution, at least at a certain level to make sure that everybody's got a shot. >> obama's critics say the idea of redistributing wealth is socialism. they're linking these 1998 comments to more recent remarks obama's made. things like you didn't build that. back in 2008 john mccain and sarah palin went after mr. obama when he said that when you spread the wealth around it's good for everybody. that's an obama quote. more recently the president has said he wants people to feel like they're getting a fair shot. in a december interview with "60 minutes" president obama talked about inequality and people like teachers and small business owners who are working hard but feel like they're just treading water. in response to the 1998 comments you just heard here, the obama
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campaign says mr. obama was making an argument for more efficient and effective government. they say the president believes there are "steps we can take to promote opportunity." here's the question, is the redistribution of wealth president obama's answer to america's problems? go to cnn.com/caffertyfile, post a comment on the blog. or go to our post on "the situation room" facebook page. wolf. all right, jack. get ready for a ton, ton of e-mail coming in, reaction. thank you. meanwhile, new developments today in a major scandal involving the obama justice department. one high level official has now resigned and another has abruptly retired all because of a just-released report on a program called fast and furious. it was supposed to trace weapons smuggling but ended up helping mexican drug cartels acquire guns from the united states. and one of those guns was found at the scene of a murdered u.s. border patrol agent. our crime and justice correspondent joe johns has been
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going through this lengthy report getting a lot of reaction. joe, what are you finding out? >> wolf, it's the closest thing so far i would say to a definitive account of the investigation that everybody agrees was a terrible idea allowing firearms to slip south of the border to try to catch the cartels that were doing the gun running in mexico. the justice department's inspector general said operation fast and furious involved a series of misguided strategies, tactics,er rors in judgment and management failures that permeated atf headquarters all the way to the justice department. and the near total disregard for public safety. congressional investigators had suggested there had been a cover-up in the justice department. but the report said federal officials actually ignored red flags, failed to ask questions, failed to send information up the chain of command. the report referred 14 people for possible disciplinary action, but it did not recommend anyone for criminal prosecution. and almost within the hour the report was released two of the
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highest ranking individuals whose names came up in the report were out. former bureau of alcohol, tobacco and firearms director kenneth nelson announced his retirement. and jason winestein, turned in his resignation. it was accepted by attorney general eric holder. holder also put out a statement of his own, wolf, saying in part unfortunate that some were so quick to make baseless accusations, accusations turned out to be without foundation and caused a great deal of unnecessary harm and confusion. he says he hopes today's report acts as a reminder the dangers of adopting as fact unsubstantiated conclusions. that gives you a sense that the politics that occurred before this report came out are certainly continuing in washington on operation fast and furious. >> no wrong doing on his part specifically eric holder. so what's been the reaction from the republican critics of the
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holder justice department? >> they say they're vindicated because they raised a bunch of questions about this saying a lot of things went wrong in this operation. they say this report confirms their suspicions. they also say they're going to continue to try to press for information that they say eric holder and the justice department withheld from them, these things eric holder was held in contempt of congress. >> joe johns, thank for filling in for me as well. always do a good job for me. >> you do a hard job. >> you just found that out? where have you been? [ laughter ] thanks, joe. rarest to happen on video, we're taking a look. [ multiple sounds making melodic tune ] ♪ [ male announcer ] at northrop grumman,
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lisa sylvester is monitoring that. this is an important moment. >> i know a lot of folks have been watching this, wolf. it is the nobel laureate's first visit to the united states in decades. she just received the congressional medal, it was awarded to her while she was still under house arrest. myanmar is transitioning from years under another control. more signs of recovery. existing home sales jump by nearly 8% in august. according to the national association of realtors, that is the highest level in more than two years. and the census bureau reports housing starts in august rose 2.3% over july. a new report says children should only eat light tuna and no more than twice a month. the mercury policy project says that is the only way to keep children's mercury intake at a safe level. white albacor tuna should be avoided all together because it
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was found to have triple the amount of mercury. take a look at this one. you've got to look hat this. this is one of nature's rarest events. it is a fire tornado. and they're caused when a warm column of air rotates and rises picking up a bush fire. this twister was sucking fire up off the ground in australia. and the filmmaker who captured the images says this lasted up to 40 minutes and it sounded -- i think you can hear it there a little bit, sounded like a jet fighter. spectacular. >> let's listen for a second. >> and also the images. it's just not something you see everyday. amazing stuff there, wolf. i think a lot of people are saying the same thing. >> that's one thing we love about our show. we learn something everyday. before the show we have a certain body of knowledge, after the show we'll be a little smarter.
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>> yeah. best job being a journalist. like going to school everyday. >> get paid to learn. romney's remarks about government dependency have some cheering and others jeering. my cnn contributor mary matalin told us this yesterday. >> well, i don't think it was damaging. i think it's great. many of us have been waiting for mitt romney to say this clearly and loudly. there are makers and takers. there are producers and there are parasites. [ male announcer ] citi turns 200 this year. so why exactly should that be of any interest to you?
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mitt romney: this president cannot tell us that you're... better off today than when he took office. anncr: well... here's where we were in 2008... tv anncr: the worst financial collapse... since the great depression... tv anncr: american workers were laid off in numbers not seen... in over three decades. anncr: and here's where we are today... thirty months of private sector job growth. creating 4.6 million new jobs. we're not there yet. but the real question is: whose plan is better for you? the president's plan asks millionaires... to pay a little more... to help invest in a strong middle class. clean energy. and cut the deficit. mitt romney's plan? a new 250,000 dollar tax break for... multi-millionaires. roll back regulations on the banks that cratered the economy. and raise taxes on the middle class. president clinton: they want to go back to the same old... policies that got us in trouble in the first place. president obama: we're not going back, we are moving forward. anncr: forward.
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in an op-ed piece for usa today mitt romney is blaming president obama for "a stagnant economy that fosters government dependency." one of the republicans most controversial proposals to reduce the federal government's role in people's lives involves changing medicaid. that's the program that provides medical coverage to poor people and also pays for the coverage of millions of children as well as the elderly. cnn's lisa sylvester has an in-depth look at how this could change. >> reporter: evan, jacob and bray den playing like any other boys in ames iowa. they are the sons of amanda and adam. if you look closely though, you will see a difference between 2 1/2 and his brother. >> the type of skeletal displaz ya he has is a pretty rare form of dwarfism that effects
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cartilage and bone development. >> reporter: when they were born jacob was fine, but his brother spent 92 days in the neonatal care. insurance would cover him as long as he was in the hospital but not home care. the family was told he might have to be hospitalized for life. >> hearing that he would possibly be institutionalized, that broke my heart. >> reporter: but then the family found out his disability qualified him for medicaid. he's one of 62 million people on the federal health insurance program for people who are low income, disabled or an eligible senior. >> the medicaid program was our only option to get that nursing coverage that we needed right away covered. so it was night and day between the ability to bring brayden home or whether he prolongs his stay in a hospital or any sort of institution. >> reporter: but the medicaid
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program could undergo a major overhaul. families like this one worry they'll lose coverage. mitt romney and paul ryan have proposed changing the existing open-ended program into fixed allotments for each state known as block grants. currently as long as people qualify they will receive coverage. under the gop plan, states would have the flexibility of redefining who is covered. democrats say that would translate into major future cuts. >> they also want to block grant medicaid and cut it by a third over the coming ten years. >> reporter: according to the budget and policy priorities, what's known as the ryan plan would curb medicaid spending by $810 billion over ten years. federal funding could be cut by 34% over the same period. but fiscal conservatives say that is precisely the point, to reign-in federal medicaid spending that will only continue to go up under the obama health care plan, placing more of a burden on taxpayers. >> i think the first step is to kind of set a budget.
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and then from there let's start talking about what policy changes, working with the states say how can you run your program better? >> reporter: and the romney campaign in a statement saying "as a former governor, mitt romney understands that states, not the federal government, are best positioned to help their residence in need. under the romney proposal states will have the flexibility to use federal funding to develop innovative solutions that better serve their medicaid populations including children like brayden. with the nation's debt crisis lawmakers are facing pressure to cut spending. but talk of cuts to the medicaid program could have political repercussions. the liberal group, families usa, say the changing could hurt one group in a big way. >> you're going to have senior who is need long-term care who may have dementia or some other significant long-term set of disabilities. they're not going to get the care they need. >> reporter: back at the
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family's house, he's been thriving since he came home. reunited with his twin and 4-year-old brother. the family says what made all the difference, the medicaid program. so in many ways it's a philosophical question. who should make the decisions about medicaid? state or federal government? and what's more of a priority? curbing the deficit or expanding health coverage, wolf? >> it's really a good piece and good explanation. thanks very much for doing that. we'll go in depth on a lot of these substantive issues until election day. mitt romney's remarks of government dependency have some cringing and others cheering. [ male announcer ] when a major hospital
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let's get right to our strategy session. lots to discuss with cnn contributor and democratic strategist donna brazile and contributing editor at the daily beast and news week. guys, thanks very much for coming in. let me start with you, david. mary matalin, the republican strategist, a cnn contributor, was here in "the situation room" yesterday reacting to the controversy surrounding mitt romney's 47% comments, the uproar that has developed. and she said this. >> there are makers and takers. there are producers and there are parasites. and people -- americans can distinguish between those who have produced paid in through no fault of their own because obama's horrible policies, cannot get a job or
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underemployed, that's what the campaign is about. >> all right. she's among those republicans saying go, mitt, go. don't back down. what you said was perfectly correct. a lot of other republicans not so sure. where do you stand? >> i think that particular remark is somewhere between unfortunate and deplorable. you know, it's right -- >> you're talking about mary matalin. >> right. the president's economic policies have not generated the growth we need. and republicans are offering an alternative. i hope it's a better alternative. and that's the case for the out party when the in party is presiding over slow growth like this. but in the middle of the worst recession, the economy since the 1930s to offer people out of work insults to try to chop up and say you are good and you are not and to talk -- to use the language of parasite, parasites are microbes not people. although scientist friend tell me they can be bigger than microbes. i think this is a destructive way to think. mitt romney should be running to be president of the whole country. if you don't run to be president of all the country, you won't be elected president of any of it.
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>> but you know there are a lot of republicans out there who are saying exactly what romney said, get -- designed to get out the base. get out those loyal republican voters, energize them. make sure they show up in ohio, virginia, florida, on election day or if there's early elections to make sure they vote. and what he said will energize that base. >> well, if they find out that they're part of the 47%, wolf, it will not energize people. it will not energize retirees who believe they've earned the opportunity to have a better life and retire. it will not energize veterans. it will not energize low income working americans. i don't think mitt romney should be applauded for saying something that insults 47% of the american people. what he said was deplorable, reprehensible and it was shocking. >> i'm not surprise today hear you say that. but i am surprised to a certain degree, david, basically you agree with donna. >> i'm not going to --
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candidates make a lot of mistakes under the pressure of the moment. and i think we need a lot of charity for what people say. they are recorded all the time. i can't get through a single day without saying something stupid. and mitt romney is expected to get through an entire two-year campaign without saying anything stupid. that said, remember if the 47% are people who don't pay income tax, a lot of those people are republicans. the single -- a fifth of them are retirees. one of the strongest republican constituencies in the country. and they don't pay income tax because social security is not taxed. they pay income tax through their lives. i don't think this way of breaking out -- there are more people on wall street have done more damages even if they earn a billion dollars a year. >> those on medicare, the elderly, or social security, they paid into it. they paid premiums for 30 or 40 years while they were working so
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they would get that benefit once they retire. this isn't a freebee. it's a government-run insurance system but people, donna, paid into that. if they're living 65 and older and getting social security and medicare, they earned that. they paid for it. >> i want you to know, if president obama were to say that, i would criticize him as well. i think any american should feel strongly you have somebody running for the president of the united states of america regardless of affiliation and goes out and insults and doubles down on it. he acts the rest of us don't care about our neighbor whether they're working or not working, they were struggling in this economy, probably struggle next year, that's why we're all in this together. >> i don't want to personalize this to mitt romney. he's really a pragmatic practical problem solver who brought in the the country's first universal health care proposal. what happened to him in that crowd is he began to channel the talk of the conservative world.
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and what has been happening in the past 48 hours is conservatives all over the country who launch this 53% versus 47% who have taken such view reshaped romney away from his own instincts into someone who can be their robot or repeat their things, they are now going to attack him and criticize him for getting into trouble for saying the lines they fed to him. if there's going to be a responsibility here, mitt romney is a capable person, he would be a good president, blame the people who launched this whole line of attack. it was a terrible mistake. >> that's good advice, david. >> peggy noonan had this advice this. i'll put it up on the screen. be serious and fight. if you're going to lose, lose honorably. if you're going to win, do it with meaning. she basically said the headline was it's time for an intervention. what do you think of that advice? >> well, look, i totally agree with peggy noonan. i sent her an e-mail this
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morning. you and i come from working class backgrounds, this is about everybody, the american dream. i thought she was spot-on in that article. >> you know, this whole talk of fighting that when you're in trouble as a candidate, your partisans, republican or democrat will tell you fight harder, tell people more how you hate president bush or president obama. but americans as a whole do not want the person who puts his or her finger on the nuclear button to be angry, di visive. the way to run for president is to start by being the president. act the way the president should act. and presidents are strong but they are not argumentative. they uphold their believes. they are not fighters. >> all right, guys. standby. we have much more to talk about. despite the political firestorm mitt romney's secretly taped remarks, the president's reaction is not as harsh as you might imagine. we'll examine his strategy when we come back. so we invented a warning
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we're back with cnn contributor and democratic strategist donna brazile and david frum, contributing editor of daily beast. here's the president's reaction, he was on with david letterman last night to the whole uproar of mitt romney and the so-called 47%. >> when you are president, you are under the microscope all the time. all of us make mistakes. all of us say the wrong thing once in a while. that incident in 2008 where, you know, what i said i immediately said and i regret this because i think it sent the wrong message to the country. so people understand, i think, that you're going to make
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mistakes on the campaign trail. what i think people want to make sure of though is that you're not writing off a big chunk of the country. because the way our democracy works, this is a big country. and people disagree a lot. >> you were afraid of the comments at the fundraiser in san francisco when he spoke i guess derisively of people who cling to their guns and relig n religion. he later backtracked. got a lot of relief for that. is he throwing mitt romney a lifeline there? or indirectly criticizing him for not coming out the next day and sort of apologizing and saying here's what i really meant to say? >> well, i don't think the president intends to help mitt romney. and he also understands sometimes when your opponent is in trouble, the right thing to do is stand back. for example, after the attack on the benghazi consulate that the right thing to do is you say nothing because when an american
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ambassador is killed, that probably indicates that some serious mistake happened. that's a good moment to say nothing and to wait for facts to emerge. this president has a record that is difficult to defend in a lot of respects. job creation, bad, economic growth, too slow. and his foreign policy initiative looks like it is going up in flames. that's the place where mitt romney should go. and of course president obama and his team wake up every morning and say how can we make today be about anything other than that? unfortunately so far they're doing pretty well. >> you know, i think this president has a tremendous record to go out there and tell the american people. stabilizing the economy, 30 months of consecutive job growth, bin laden dead, gadhafi gone, al qaeda weakened. look, we shouldn't run this election on the republican terms. nor should president obama have to respond every time mitt romney makes a mistake and try to prop him up. mitt romney has been running for president for well over seven years. he understands what's at stake. he has chosen to use the
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language of the most extreme wing of the republican party. for that he's getting in trouble with the majority of american who is are not part of the extreme wing of the republican party. >> you see, what i thought romney should have said is here's what i meant to say, obama's going to get 45% or 47% of the vote, that's pretty obvious. i'm going to get 45% or 47% of the vote. that's pretty obvious. we're both fighting for that 8% or 10% undecided or switchable vote in a few key battleground states. that's what i really meant to say. but it didn't come out that way. >> right. well, the identification of the people who are going to vote for president obama with the people who don't -- who are unable to pay income tax if they don't earn enough, it's just intellectually wrong. that's not who -- those two different categories that each happen to number about 47% happen to be. he made a mistake. but if he were right now running the kind of campaign that he needs to run, he could shake off the mistake. candidates make mistakes all the time. his mistakes tend not to matter
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although they seem to matter on cable tv and for the day. if you've got a universal message, a real message of economic hope, you can survive anything. >> he still has three presidential debates coming up beginning october 3rd. one-on-one 90 minutes against the president of the united states. >> look, i wish this election was over with. wolf, i can't wait to get back in my kitchen and cook. we have 48 more days for debates including the vice presidential one. mitt romney's problem, peggy's right, he's running such a small campaign. he's appealing to the base, not appealing to the majority of americans. therefore he might be limited to the base he's singing to and not the choir he wants to sing to. >> he's definitely trying to get the base out and show up on election day. as the president is trying to get his base out, energize them, both of these guy haves to energize their respective bases if they want elected. thanks, guys, thanks very much. the french government closing embassies embracing for real trouble. you'll find out how a magazine
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and the candidate's speech is in pieces all over the district. the writer's desktop and the coordinator's phone are working on a joke with local color. the secure cloud just received a revised intro from the strategist's tablet. and while i make my way into the venue, the candidate will be rehearsing off of his phone. [ candidate ] and thanks to every young face i see out there. [ woman ] his phone is one of his biggest supporters. [ female announcer ] with cisco at the center... working together has never worked so well. presidethis message. barack obama and i approve... [ female announcer ] with cisco at the center... anncr: he keeps saying it... mitt romney: this president cannot tell us that you're... better off today than when he took office. anncr: well... here's where we were in 2008... tv anncr: the worst financial collapse... since the great depression... tv anncr: american workers were laid off in numbers not seen... in over three decades.
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anncr: and here's where we are today... thirty months of private sector job growth. creating 4.6 million new jobs. we're not there yet. but the real question is: whose plan is better for you? the president's plan asks millionaires... to pay a little more... to help invest in a strong middle class. clean energy. and cut the deficit. mitt romney's plan? a new 250,000 dollar tax break for... multi-millionaires. roll back regulations on the banks that cratered the economy. and raise taxes on the middle class. president clinton: they want to go back to the same old... policies that got us in trouble in the first place. president obama: we're not going back, we are moving forward. anncr: forward. mid grade dark roast forest fresh full tank brain freeze cake donettes rolling hot dogs g of ice anti-freeze wash and dry diesel self-serve fix a flat jumper cables 5% cashback signup for 5% cashback at gas stations through september. it pays to discover.
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so i brought it to mike at meineke. we gave her car a free road handling check. i like free. free is good. my money. my choice. my meineke. jack's back with the cafferty file. jack. >> question this hour, wolf, is the redistribution of wealth president obama's answer to america's problems? rich writes from texas only if you're robin hood. look, jack, most people work hard for their money. they don't want the government taking more of it away from them to give to someone the government deems is more worthy of it. if politicians were so good at managing other people's money, we wouldn't be in debt up to our eyeballs right now. lou writes, i wish we lived in the country where everybody did well enough to take care of themselves all the time. but the painful truth is we live in a country where the kardashians have become millionaires by releasing a sex
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tape while some of our elderly veterans go hungry. can we at least help feed the elderly, poor children and the disabled so we don't look like coming off like total jerks to the rest ot world? david in mississippi writes it's the devaluation of our currency. the fed is printing money out of thin air. backed by the word of lying, cheating politicians. money should not be redistributed, it should be earned. if money is to be effectively redistributed, then it's by better job training for the poor so they can earn money rather than having it handed to them. if redistribution means paying down the national debt, then i'm all for it. and richard in pennsylvania writes, sure, why not. it's worked so well in russia and china, not. this is the typical socialist montra spewed by obama and his leftist allies. redistribution would stifle innovation and the desire to constantly improve ourselves.
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why establish goals if it will benefit from government handouts no matter what you do and whether or not you succeed? this is and always will be a bad idea. if you want to read more on this, go to the blog, cnn.com/caffertyfile. or through our post on the "the situation room" facebook page. wolf. jack, thanks very much. and you're in "the situation room." happening now, mitt romney strikes back after his own remarks landed him in hot water. can he turn some old comments by president obama into new campaign ammunition. also, after a week of violent protests over an anti-islamic film, a french magazine is publishing cartoons that ridicule the prophet muhammad. france takes urgent steps right now to boost security. and thousands of american airlines employees could soon face layoffs. but passengers are already feeling a huge impact. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around
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the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." mitt romney launches a counteroffensive after being slammed for a secretly recorded remarks that 47% of americans are dependent on government. the romney camp is now pushing a 14-year-old tape of president obama talking about redistribution. let's begin our coverage this hour with our chief white house correspondent jessica yellin. jessica, it's a familiar refrain, but what is all the new buzz all about? >> hi, wolf. it is a narrative that has followed the president for years. that really what he wants to do is use the government to take from the rich and give to the poor. well, now that the romney campaign is facing a controversy of its own, it is seized on an
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old audiotape to argue that that's exactly what the president still wants to do, wolf. the gop is out with a new attack on the president playing up old audio and a familiar story line. >> i actually believe in redistribution. >> if you got a business, you didn't build that. >> reporter: the tape is from 1998. then-illinois state senator barack obama urging renewed faith in government's ability to help people out of poverty. >> what we're going to have to do is somehow resuscitate the notion that government action can be effective at all. >> reporter: the line getting all the attention. >> i actually believe in redistribution, at least at a certain level to make sure that everybody's got a shot. >> reporter: the tape posted on the right leaning drudge report in the wake of mitt romney's hidden camera controversy. and it popped on the campaign trail. >> this idea of redistribution
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follows from the idea that if you have a business, you didn't build it, someone else did that. it's the same concept. >> reporter: flashback to campaign 2008. remember joe the plumber? >> your new tax plans going to tax me more. >> it's not i want to punish your success. i think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody. >> reporter: senator john mccain tried to make headway with the theme back then. >> he believes in redistributing wealth, not in policies that grow our economy and create jobs. >> reporter: team obama says. >> it was tried and failed in 2008. >> history has shone in fact senator mccain did not win the election. but on the economic issues of the day, i think that the vast majority of americans agree that the route for america is to rely on the private sector and should have a small government. >> reporter: reality check, if the president is a secret socialist, he's failing at it. according to census bureau data, last year the gap between rich and poor was the biggest it's been in 40 years.
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incomes grew for only the top 20% of americans. now, wolf, the obama campaign did put out a statement saying that this is a desperate ploy by the romney camp. you might not be surprised by that. they say what the president was trying to say back in the day in those audiotapes was that he was arguing for a more efficient, more effective government that can help people and promote opportunity. you'll notice, wolf, that the president only commented on this once last night when he was on the "david letterman show" basically following the old adage, if your opponent is stumbling, step aside and let him fall on his own, wolf. >> have they confirmed over at the white house, jessica, that that audiotape from way back in 1998 or whatever it was was authentic, wasn't doctored, that it was the real thing of then-illinois senator speaking
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to this group? >> they have not confirmed that it was at loyola, but no one here at the campaign is denying that it was the president when he was state senator. nor are they denying the atri bugs. they're just insisting these are government programs, we should be able to understand some can work more effectively to help some people get out of poverty, wolf. >> jessica yellin, thanks very much. if we have heard this tune before, why are republicans still playing the redistribution theme song? can it really work? let's discuss with two guests, democratic strategist bill burton, co-founder of the super pac priorities usa action. and republican congressman jason chaffetz of utah. former press secretary deputy.
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let me ask you congressman chaffetz, we heard these arguments four years ago. didn't work out so well for john mccain. why is it coming up now? >> it's one of the central themes of this economy. i mean, the fact is we got 23 million americans who are out of work or continue to look for work. we have unemployment been north of 8%. we have a $16 trillion debt, we're paying more than $600 million a day in interest on the debt. and the president doesn't have a plan. so mitt romney is running this campaign to get the country back to work. >> well, i'm talking about the redistribution. the redistribution uproar. what is the issue now? why is it different than the arguments you made four years ago that this president was a closet socialist, wanted to redistribute wealth? >> but then the president denies that this is the type of direction he's heading. those of us on the republican side of the aisle have been concerned that what president obama wants is big government and more government. and it's exemplified the fact there are now 143,000 additional federal workers on the federal payroll since the president took office. and it's not helping the economy. so the person who's sitting
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there in iowa or florida or wherever it might be and is concerned about paying for school and their mortgage and everything else, they got to be asking themselves do we want more of the same or do we need to go a different direction? that's the core of what mitt romney is trying to do in this election is saying, no, we got to get people back to work. not more government. >> let's let bill burton respond to that. bill. >> well, for starters, you know, this attack was tried back in 2008. obviously it didn't work for senator mccain. people have a sense of who president obama is, where he wants to take this country. and they know he's not the caricature the romney campaign has made him to be. he's for growing the economy. over the last 30 months there have been consecutive 30 months of job growth. brought the financial sector back from the brink. saved the auto industry. the question that americans have right now is whether they want to keep moving in the direction that has shown growth that president obama's led this country in or back to the ways of george w. bush or what mitt
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romney wants revealed in a tape help out the very rich at the expense of the middle class. >> let's go back to jason chaffetz on this redistribution of wealth. there's almost a four-year record president obama has now in terms of redistribution of wealth. if you look at the redistribution that's occurred over the past four years, the wealthy have become witricher. the poorer have become poorer. there's been a redistribution and it's gone to the top income. that's reflected in the dow jones industrial average now 13,500. so wealthy people have done really well under this president. how do you explain that? >> hey, well, don't get any argument from me. the president's failed on all fronts. look, the american dream -- >> wait a minute. let me just -- what do you mean he's failed on all fronts if wealthy people are doing better today than they were doing four years ago? >> here's the fundamental challenge. when you have bigger government, more regulation, more regulators
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out there, the big guys take care of it. the big companies and corporations, they're able to handle it. they hire more attorneys and accountants and get around it. what we're fighting for are these young people who are graduating from college, these young people starting their own businesses, what the president fails to understand is that big government, more government impedes the ability for americans to have that economic growth and opportunity. the person who has 15 employees, how do they get to 20? it's big government that gets in their way. there's a proper role of government. but this american dream was not built on cash for clunkers and bailouts and massive debts on a government credit card. that's not how we build this country. >> bill, i think the point he's trying to make is that poorer people, middle class families are not doing as well as they were doing four years ago. the argument being there are more people on food stamps right now, more people dependent on the government to just get through the day than they were four years ago. how do you answer that? >> by any measure the economy is growing. it's not shrinking like it was when the president took over --
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>> but why are there more people on food stamps than four years ago? >> obviously the president started in a deep hole. when he took over the reigns from george w. bush, the economy was in bad shape. the people congressman chaffetz are talking about are the same folks mitt romney says are moochs on the system, students. people dependent on student loans and pell grants in order to make their way through college. seniors who worked all their lives on social security and medicare. mitt romney appears those people are takers, people veterans who have completed our service and on veterans benefits. that's not a government-centered focus. >> priorities usa action, bill's super pac has an ad, congressman. i want to play a clip for you because i want to discuss this with you. they make a serious charge against mitt romney. listen to this. >> behind these doors mitt romney calls half the american people. >> dependent upon government who believe they are victims. >> victims? >> we did some checking.
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they did not file any federal income tax, 38% of the tax returns in utah. utah's in the top ten of what they call nonpayers. we're only talking about federal income tax. not social security withholding or anything like that. federal income tax. are these people moochers? are they parasites? what are they? >> no. we want to do what mitt romney wants to do, what i want to do, what is right for this country is to allow people economic mobility so they can improve their own lives, that they can pay that mortgage. they can pay for college. they can get a better job. have that upward mobility. that's the essence of why mitt romney is running for election. >> when mitt romney says that these are victims, are they victims these 38% of utah residents -- or utah filers who didn't pay any federal income tax? >> no. look, governor romney was the first one to say he didn't word
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that very eloquently. but the point he's trying to make, which i think is a valid one, is how do we create more economic opportunity for people to succeed in this country? president obama's taking us down a path of more government, more government spending. and it's not working. and i disagree with my friend there, bill. there is no economic indicator that indicates that, boy, this is right on the trajectory that we want to be. i think the country recognizes they're off track. that's why we got to move in a different direction. and that's -- giving entrepreneurs more opportunity. >> hold on. i want to play this clip to you. this is mitt romney speaking today defending himself. listen to this. >> the question in this campaign is not who cares about the poor and middle class. i do. he does. the question is, who can help the poor and middle class? i can. he can't. he's proven it in four years. >> all right. bill, go ahead and respond to mitt romney. >> well, for starters, the partially hilarious thing here is on your own air on cnn he's
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the one who said i'm not concerned about the very poor. the truth is, if you listen to his comments in that fundraiser, what it does is shows that this is the same guy we all thought he was. very concerned about getting tax cuts to the wealthiest and denigrates people who do depend on student loans, who do depend on medicare, who do depend on veterans benefits. you can't be the president of all the united states if part of your campaign is to tear down a good chunk of it. >> bill burton and jason chaffetz, to be continued down the road. appreciate both of you joining us here in "the situation room." >> thanks, wolf. we all witnessed the worldwide violent protests first sparked by a video mocking the prophet muhammad. now a cartoon is doing the same. why is it so sensitive for muslims? plus, remember the botched oath of office between president obama and the chief justice john roberts? we have new insight into why it happened. our own jeffrey toobin is out with a new book entitled "the oath." hmm, it says here that cheerios helps lower cholesterol
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jack cafferty's also following mitt romney's controversial comments at that private fundraiser in boc boca raton, florida. >> mitt romney's latest unforced error has their chances of winning this election quickly slipping away. as politico puts it, if political campaigns have nine lives, nervous republicans feel romney has used up at least eight. the latest gaffe comes courtesy of romney's comments to a group of wealthy republican donors in may where he said the 47% of americans who support president obama no matter what depend on the government for handouts and "believe they are victims." this leaked video could damage romney's support among some republican voters like seniors or the military. not to mention independents. which is why some republicans including massachusetts senator
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scott brown and south carolina's lindsay graham are distancing themselves from romney's remarks. all of this follows romney's badly bungled and highly political response to the middle east riots last week. in a "the wall street journal" column, former political speech writer peggy noonan says the romney campaign is incompetent "it's not big, it's not brave, it's not thoughtfully tackling great issues. it's always been too small for the moment. an intervention is in order. mitt, this is not working." she writes, romney who is not good at news conferences ought to stick to speeches and they "have to be big." he says he ought to surround himself with a posse of top republicans every day. people like jeb bush, mitch daniels, marco rubio, chris christie, just to show he's not in this alone. here's the question, what does mitt romney have to do to right
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the ship? wolf. jack, thank you. some vindication for president obama's attorney general. the inspector general finds in a new report that eric holder was not informed of the botched gun trafficking operation known as fast and furious until after the death of a u.s. border patrol agent. 14 atf employees are now facing possible disciplinary action. two others faulted in the report are leaving the justice department. joining us now is cnn's senior legal analyst jeffrey toobin, the author of a brand new book entitled "the oath" the obama white house and the supreme court. an excellent book. i'll talk about it in a moment. let's get your quick reaction to this inspector general report. what do you make of this? >> well, it summarizes what a lot of us knew and expected, that this was a very ill conceived operation, it was botched at the local level. but it is not a national scandal. there was not a cover-up or any sort of wrongdoing in washington
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at the justice department. so it's bad, but it's not as bad as it could be. >> let's get to "the oath" because you have new good information in there. you write this about the chief justice john roberts because in the end he supported obama care, said it was constitutional, gave his reasons. a lot of folks were surprised by that including you. >> starting right here, yes. >> as a lot of us remember, i was surprised myself. here's what you write, for roberts personally and conservative cause generally his vote in the health care case were acts of strategic genious. what does that mean? >> in part it has to do with how he wrote the opinion. it was definitely a shot across the bow in congress in terms of limiting big government. the commerce clause is not what it was. congress does not have a blank check to write any law on any subject. but as for the supreme court itself, roberts has now established himself as a figure above politics. so as next year he comes to deal
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with the issue of affirmative action, very likely ending the practice of racial considerations in admissions at the university of texas, he will be able to issue opinions and people won't say, oh, he's just a republican hack. he has a moral and political authority now that is really well beyond what any chief justice has had in a long time. >> so what you're saying is this decision on obama care as it's called was a strategic decision looking down the road when he makes some other controversial decisions if he's that 5-4 swing vote let's say. >> absolutely. it was a decision where he undoubtedly believed what he wrote, that this was a legitimate proof use of the taxing power. but it was also a decision about his role as chief justice. and how he sees the court. he didn't want another bush -- another citizens united another case where republicans advanced the agenda. he kept the court at least
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somewhat apart from the politics of the day. >> the title of the book comes from when president obama was sworn in on january 20th, 2009, as president of the united states. and the chief justice sort of seemed to screw up that oath, that ceremony. i'll play a little clip. >> i, barack hussein obama do solemnly swear. >> i do -- >> we remember there was a little tension there. >> and it was downhill from there. >> that was a good part of that oath of that ceremony. but you go behind the scenes and tell us what happened. >> a lot of people at the time said, god, john roberts, he didn't prepare. >> could have brought a little three-by-five card. >> it's 35 words. but this is what happened. not only did he prepare, he prepared obsessively. at one point his wife said to him at this point the dog thinks it's the president. that's how many times he rehearsed. but he had prepared a card, a pdf, which his assistant
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e-mailed to the congressional inaugural committee which explained precisely how the words would be divided up in the oath. and i have the card in the book. but the problem was the secretary who got the oath card at the congressional committee never forwarded it to the obama transition office. so obama never knew how roberts was going to divide the oath. and in that clip we saw that he kind of interrupted the chief justice because he didn't know how the oath was going to be broken up. and that flustered john roberts. and at that point he got confused for a while. that's the root of the problem. so it shows you should always open the attachments on e-mails. >> you know what it also shows? do a little rehaeearsarehearsal. you're all backstage behind the scenes, this is history unfolding. say to the president it's only 35 words. here's what we're going to do. here's how we're going to do it. i will say these recorwords, yol be -- >> i'm not sure who is inaugurated, but i'm sure it will go a lot more smoothly.
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>> and they'll do a little rehaer rehears rehearsal. >> the book is entitled "the oath." remember the last book you wrote a great best seller. i'm sure this one will be as well. >> i hope so. we will also be talking about a new politician, the new york jets quarterback, tim tebow. we'll explain what's going on. ♪ ♪ wow... [ female announcer ] sometimes, all you need is the smooth, creamy taste of werther's original caramel to remind you that you're someone very special. ♪ now discover new caramel apple filled werther's original.
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a car carrying the united states ambassador to china surrounded by a mob of protesters in beijing. and it was all caught on tape. lisa sylvester's monitoring that, some other top stories in "the situation room" right now. what happened? >> wolf, some pretty surprising
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video here. outraged demonstrators are protesting a simmering territorial dispute marking the 81st anniversary of japan's invasion of china. the ambassador's car became a target amid the chaos but sustained only minor damage. some of japan's biggest manufacturers halted production in the area due to the protests. china normally clamps down on public demonstrations, but it is allowing these to proceed. and one day after french magazine was fined for publishing topless photos of the duchess of cambridge, magazines in denmark and sweden have bought and are printing the controversial images. a magazine editor says they won't be deterred by the criminal and legal battle over the pictures. a spokesman for the royal family is declining to comment on these decisions. and tebowing may one day come right here to washington. football star tim tebow known for wearing his religion on his sleeve is telling espn new york that he has not ruled out running for office after he
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retires. he says whatever angle he feels like he can make a difference in, then he would love to do it. imagine that. congressman tebow, how does that sound to you? >> the late jack kemp from being quarterback to being vice presidential nominee as you remember. so there is a precedent. good quarterback may be a good politician as well. >> i know tim tebow has a ton of fans out there. we'll see what happens as far as political career. >> let's see how he does in football. >> okay. concerns over a cartoon, could it spark more deadly protest in the middle east. through menopause. i hae these symptoms may be nothing... but they could be early warning signs of a gynecologic cancer, such as cervical, ovarian, or uterine cancer. feeling bloated for no reason. that's what i remember. seeing my doctor probably saved my life. warning signs are not the same for everyone. if you think something's wrong... see your doctor. ask about gynecologic cancer. and get the inside knowledge.
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presidethis message. barack obama and i approve... anncr: he keeps saying it... mitt romney: this president cannot tell us that you're... better off today than when he took office. anncr: well... here's where we were in 2008... tv anncr: the worst financial collapse... since the great depression... tv anncr: american workers were laid off in numbers not seen... in over three decades. anncr: and here's where we are today... thirty months of private sector job growth. creating 4.6 million new jobs. we're not there yet. but the real question is: whose plan is better for you? the president's plan asks millionaires... to pay a little more... to help invest in a strong middle class. clean energy. and cut the deficit. mitt romney's plan? a new 250,000 dollar tax break for... multi-millionaires. roll back regulations on the banks that cratered the economy. and raise taxes on the middle class. president clinton: they want to go back to the same old... policies that got us in trouble in the first place. president obama: we're not going back, we are moving forward. anncr: forward.
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after a week of off in
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violent protest over anti-islamic film, a french magazine has now published cartoons that muslims say ridicule the prophet muhammad. france is boosting security in some places and as a precaution will close embassies and schools in 20 countries on friday. that's the muslim holy day. brian todd is looking closer at this story. what else is going on? >> wolf, the french are concerned about potential violence. these cartoons are derogatory towards the prophet muhammad. and of course the timing is critical. it couldn't come at a more combustible time. that seems to be the whole point. cartoons just published in the french magazine lampoon the prophet muhammad showing him in suggestive poses. cnn's not airing those images. the magazine also mocks a jewish rabbi. but it's the cartoons of muhammad coming in the wake of deadly protests in more than a dozen countries over an anti-islamic film that led police to take up positions
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outside the magazine's paris offices. leaders of france's muslim community, the largest muslim population in western europe, are furious. >> translator: our reaction is indignation. >> reporter: members of the magazine staff say they're not fueling any fire. they're using freedom of expression to poke fun at the news and criticize extremists. >> translator: one has the impression that everybody's driven by fear. that's what the small handful of fundamentalists that doesn't represent anyone wants to do, govern through fear. >> reporter: but these cartoons have the potential to provoke more than just a handful of fundamentalists. even a positive depiction is considered blasphemy by muslims. i spoke with a prominent islamic scholar who has advised top american generals and diplomats. why is it so sensitive for the prophet to be depicted in any way? what is the root? >> the argument is if you begin to depict the prophet
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graphically in a picture or in a statue as in christianity depicting jesus, they will most often begin to worship that statue. in islam the worship of god is completely indivisible from anything. it is just god. even the prophet is mortal, he's not divine or semi-divine. as would happen graphically or statue, muslims invariably begin to look at that and see it on their behalf to god would dwert from the worship of god. >> meanwhile, the french as we mentioned are bracing for backlash from these cartoons. the foreign ministry says france will close embassies and schools in about 20 countries on friday. that is the main muslim day of prayer as a precaution. it is already boosting security in some locations namely in cairo, lebanon and tunisia, wolf. they are extremely worried about -- >> this magazine does have a history of doing this kind of stuff.
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>> it does. last november the magazine's offices were attacked when it was about to publish an issue making fun of islamic law. one of its cartoonists have been placed under police protection since last november because one of his illustrations on the cover was so controversial. the french foreign minister has said -- he's basically voiced a lot of frustration. we understand free speech and have to protect it, but we don't see anything useful about a provocation like this. the government is frustrated with these people as well. >> brian, thanks very much. let's dig deeper with a senior fellow at the hoover institution, the author of "the syrian rebellion." thanks for coming in. you had an excellent column in "the washington post." there is an arab pain and a volatility in the face of judgment by outsiders that stem from a deep and enduring sense of humiliation. a vast chasm separates the poor standing of arabs in the world today from their history of
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greatness. explain what you mean by that. >> wolf, thank you for citing this piece. we have been here before, haven't we? when we look back on what happened 23 years ago, when we look back on the murder in amsterdam in broad daylight, a film with a -- a witness said his throat was slit as though it was a tire. then came the cartoon crisis where a friend of mine actually innocently commissioned these cartoons and a hundred people were killed. then this issue came up on us now with this film that was made in california. we've seen this before. it's a clash really. a clash of cultures and believes. the freedom of expression in the west and insistence of muslims that their own ways will have to be given due regard in the west
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and by the west. >> i don't know if you saw tom freedman's excellent column in "new york times" today. he points out a lot of these same people are protesting so vehemently against this spill depicting the prophet muhammad they themselves have said really nasty ugly things about other religions, christianity, judaism, the website praises jihad against america and the jews, the descendants of apes and pigs. why do they see things so differently when people criticize their religion but they then go ahead and do the same thing about other religions? >> you have asked the right question. when you have young people unemployed, underemployed, angry with the feeling of disinheritance. and when you have a culture that winks at these kinds of things, when you have the rule of the unreason, i think these things are predictable. that's where the muslim world finds itself today. and i think there is something
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very sad in my opinion that someone in beirut, the leader of hezbollah, is so offended by this 14-minute video trailer made in california, but across the border from his country, across the border from where he lives, tens of thousands of syrians have been killed and brutalized, mosques have been shelled, sanctities have been violated and yet they have nothing to say about this. it's kind of shameful that people go as far away as jakarta and protest against this film, but you don't really see much protest about what's happening in a place like syria. >> yeah. we saw those pictures of those thousands gathering in beirut yesterday protesting this film, death to america and all of that. but i haven't seen similar demonstrations as you point out complaining about the slaughter of so many people right next door. only a few miles away in syria by the syrian leader bashar al assad. bottom line, is this ever going to get better?
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>> no. that really is the honest answer. i mean, i think when you have these -- these positions are so sharply drawn. we believe in the west. we believe in the western tradition and free speech. now, i think free speech always have some limit. there are lots of things. i watch your programs for a very long time, since it's launching, i've never seen you being rude towards something and using the cover of free speech. but you have that value that we have of free speech. and then you have this wide civilization of islam insisting on its way. and you have the organization of the islamic conference, something like 57 countries, and they want to criminalize attacks on the prophet. they want to declare it if you will in our language, hate speech. so this will not be resolved. it's the essential contradiction. this is what sam huntington, the late great professor at harvard really put it well when he talked about the clash of civilization. and when he talked about what he called the youth bulge, the
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young people in the islamic world who has nothing except this kind of culture of protest and this culture of violence. >> very depressing thought indeed. fuoad, thanks for coming in. move to control ties to iran just as that relationship is flaunted.
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smoke rose over syria's capital today as dozens of people were reported killed in damascus and its suburbs. the united states announced sanctions on entity supporting the syrian crackdown including iranian air carriers accused of transporting weapons. but the regime got a show of support as iran's foreign
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minister visited bashar al assad. nic robertson is in damascus right now. i want to get to that meeting, nic, in a moment. but first, cnn rarely gets access, a visa to get into syria, damascus, what are you seeing on the ground? >> reporter: wolf, it's not easy access here on the ground. the government gives us very, very limited dispensation to film here. if we bump into the edges of that, as we did today, we can find ourselves pretty quickly taken in for questioning, transported back to the center of damascus even to an intelligence headquarters today for questioning. but what we're seeing on the ground here is a city that is an island in this city of about a couple of square miles that are untouched by war. but go just a few miles away from where we are here and it's like a war zone, a battleground. there are areas where it's a scorched earth policy. whole and blocks of houses have
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been demolished. other areas you go into, some building pockmarked by shelling, by bombs, you see people on the move getting out of neighborhoods, the neighborhoods we saw from where i'm standing right now just a few hours ago smoke billowing out of them. and this is in the capital. it's still the core of the capital here. perhaps the sort of better-off neighborhoods if you will that are yet to be touched by the fighting. and people here right in this part of the city living in fear that that war is just, just right around the corner from them, wolf. >> so how solid does bashar al assad and his regime look? i know you have limited access. there's limits to what you can see. but from your vantage point in damascus? >> reporter: you know, we still get around. we can still get out to talk to people. we can in every situation even those situations where you're taken in for questioning, you see a lot, you learn a lot. in that police station today three soldiers we've been told have just been wounded by two
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ieds placed near a school. and we were in the office watching that police official working his phones, getting the information, writing reports. then they were transferred to another headquarters. again, there is a very strong, solid bureaucracy and military structure, sha by, the military forces, the army is still strong. there's a lot of checkpoints around this city. what they cannot do is break the will of the free syrian army. however, in and around this city and the communities not so touched by assad's forces there's still support for him. they may not like what he's doing, but they worry about what happens if the opposition takes control, wolf. and for that reason they're throwing their lot albeit -- throw a lot in behind the president because they're fearful for what else, what may be come may be worse for them, wolf. >> nic, be careful in damascus. we'll check back with you for sure tomorrow. thanks very much nic robertson on the scene for us in the
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syrian capital. we're also digging into the iran issue with our own fareed zakaria. that's coming up in our next hour. also, deep cuts by american airlines could cost you money, even your travel plans. [ male announcer ] imagine facing the day
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about his first anniversary. >> 20 years? >> 20 years -- wait, hold on -- i'm trying to figure out what the date today is, my anniversary is on october 3rd, but i want to point out that on our first anniversary, she is the one who forgot. it was like wednesday night, and i said to what do you want to do this weekend, what do you want to do on friday? and she said what's on friday? and i said honey we have been married a year. she forgot completely. >> one year in and it slips her mind. very funny, let's go to jack cafferty right now. >> better she forgot than him, the price would have been higher. the question is what does mitt romney have to do to flip the ship.
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he is a gaffeaholic. his last chance is the upcoming presidential debates. karla says the ss romney sailed and sank a long time ago. this is not a bell that can be unrung. it's an alarm sounding loud and clear broadcasting his true feelings about those he would govern. james says i just grossed the tar river down here, the water is still flowing and much more will pass before election day. ron says i'm sorry, we don't have time for an exorcism and reeducation. he doesn't understand what middle income or poor is, but he will get a good look at them when they vote for obama. dale says get an italian cruise
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ship, metaphor is really freaky the way things are turning out. >> she says your question assumes that romney's ship is in trouble. if our press was unbiassed, it's possible that obama would not have gotten the democratic nomination. the only ship that needs righting is our press, they failed this nation, and selena says mitt romney needs to hold a news conference, apologize to the public and say he was wrong, and two, dip himself in whale blood and jump over the side. >> all right, jack, thanks. major cuts by american airlines, how can could cost you big time. hey, i love your cereal there --
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major cuts in money woes are not just costing employees, it could also cost you. >> that's right, after declaring bankruptcy last year, this week, american airlines told 11,000 employees their jobs could be changing. and 4,400 could be laid off. it's having an impact on people who fly. cancellations and delays are plaguing american airlines. >> i don't know how much or why. >> it puts a king in what i'm trying to get done and where i'm trying to go. >> and passengers are not happy. >> it's an inconvenience. >> in the last month, more than
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a thousand flights were cancels. american says it's pilots are calling out sick and more orders for maintenance are being filed. they say they're not organizing a job action despite being upset over contract issues. they admit to the sagging performance. >> operation is not what we want it to be, what it has historically been. >> and it's unclear how 4400 potential layoffs will further affect the airlines performance. today it started cancelling it's flights throughout october, and it's calling passengers to give as much advanced notice about cancellation and are rebooking tickets for free. >> we're working as hard as we can to mitigate this, and we
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certainly understand and we apologize for any delay or cancellation we've seen. >> travelers can demand a refund if their flight is cancelled. >> passengers are really fed up with the u.s. airline industry. perhaps until they get it settled, it might be a good idea to avoid american airlines. >> the bit of silver lining is the slower travel season, but if this continues to the holidays, it could impact passengers and travelers even more. >> sandy, thank you. happening now, two brutal days under fire. plus, jesus talking about his wife. a scrap of an ancient text revives an ancient debate. i'm wolf blitzer and you're in the situation room.
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they are words that put knots in the stomachs of many republicans, they're nominee writing out supporters at dependent victims. but mitt romney is grabbing his remarks, running with them, and trying to turn the tables using the president's own words of a long time ago. cnn's national political kor spon sent jim acosta is traveling with the campaign. >> elections are about choices but i think it's in more stock relief. >> this is how america works, it does not work by a government saying become dependent on government. >> they are weaving their controversial whiff on campaign speeches like the one he gave at this fundraiser in tlant.
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there are 47% that will vote for him no matter what, they think they're victims. >> less than two days after explaining his remarks, romney published an op-ed in "usa today" saying under president obama we have a stagnant economy that fosters government help. >> take the new web video tieing the remarks to what the romney campaign considers to be a history of anti-business rhetoric from the president. >> this idea of redistribution follows from the idea that if you have a business, you didn't build it. someone else did that. it's the same concept. >> and bottom of the ticket. >> president obama said that he
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believes in redistribution. mitt romney and i are not running to redistribute the wealth. we're running to help americans create wealth. >> if we win on november 6th -- >> the romney campaign had been all over the map on the hidden camera interview. and paul ryan says romney used a poor choice of words. >> the point we're trying to make is under the obama economy, government dependency is up and economic stagnation is up. but ann romney says his remarks were misunderstood. >> if you really listen to everything he does say, he's talking about where we're -- what we're facing in america right now. >> still some in the gop are piling on, and peggy noonan say
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there's is a broad feeling now among republicans that this is slipping out on romney's hands. >> we remember the highlights, corporations are people, my friend. i like being able to fire people. >> romney has more damage control to do on another front after initially saying in that hidden camera video that he might have an easier time being elected president if he was latino, he is reaching out to hispanic voters right now. he is getting ready to do a candidate's forum, and later on this evening, he will be here in miami at this event that i'm standing at. you see the sign behind me that means together with romney. craig will be by his side and he speaks fluent spanish. thank you, we're also getting a first look at what
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romney's remarks could cost him on election day. the usa today gallup poll shows 20% of registered voters are more likely to vote for him, 36% say they're less likely to vote for him, 43% say the remarks make no difference. among inextent. 15% more likely, 29% less likely, and 53% say no difference. if the numbers don't give the romney campaign more confidence. we are joining now with john, how is all of this playing out in michigan? >> wolf, of late, nevada had the unwelcome distinction as the state with the highest unemployment rate. before nevada, it was michigan with that reputation.
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high unemployment rate and strong roots gave mitt romney hope that he could turn the state from through to red, or from blue to competitive. >> it is the defining question in a state mitt romney was counting on as a fall battleground. >> who do you think would do a better job with the economy? >> mitt romney was born and raised here, but so far -- >> we need to gi you a macomb supports obama side. >> so far the state is staying blue. a new international poll shows the president with an eight point lead statewide among likely voters. and a 14 point edge in the detroit suburbs. >> barbara vansickle still holds
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out vote, but concedes that time is getting tight. >> the philosophies are different enough, but people don't connect with romney the way they do with obama. >> it's not that michigan is booms, the unemployment rate is down. while hardly gangbusters, manufacturing employment is up 57,500 jobs during the obama presidency. 30,000 of those in the auto industry. >> reporter: joseph was laid off, he was looking for work in texas and tennessee when help came from washington. >> you think you're working today because of obama? >> yes, he didn't come through and give that vote to say we have to save gm and do this, all of sterling heights would have been gone. >> a pro-romney super pac is
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making one more push here. but the romney campaign isn't spending any money, and the candidate himself has not visited in a month. >> i love being home. barring a sudden shift, top alleys here expect the focus to be elsewhere. >> if you look deep into the new poll, governor romney and president obama are splitting the votes in the suburbs and with the independents, but obama has a big lead among women and union households. that is evidence that the auto bailout is helping the president. >> yeah, it will wind up helping him in ohio as well. we'll see. other big news we're following today including the release of that final report on that fast and furious controversy. >> all of the information is
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finally out. at least two people are now leaving the justice department in the wake of that long awaited report on the controversial gun running program. it put guns in the hands of mexican drug cartels. congress has been looking into this, and so has the inspector general. joe johns has all of the details, what does the report say? >> the premise of operation fast and furious was sentmatic. it was supposed to be a sting with about 2,000 firearms. some of the agents on the ground thought it was something so big it would make their careers. that's not how it turned out. >> it's the closest thing so far to a definitive account of an investigation that everybody agrees was a terrible idea. allowing firearms to slip south of the border to catch the cartels doing the gun running in
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mexico. larry alt was one of the agents that blew the whistle. >> we were transferring weapons to people that we knew were transferring them to people in mexico and not taking an action -- >> operation fast and furious and related matters show misguided strategies, tactics, and management failures that permeated the head quarters. it referred 14 people for possible disciplinary action, but did not recommend anyone for criminal prosecution. almost within an hour of the reports release, two of the highest ranks individuals in the report were out. kent melson, and jason winstein, and there's no evidence that eric holder knew anything about
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it prior to january of 2011. i asked if this meant that holder had been exonerated. he was cited with contempt of congress. >> this is his organization. he should take personal responsibility to this to suggest that everything he said was right and everything congress did was wrong is -- would be a mischaracterization of moving forward here. >> holder said it is unfortunate that some were so quick to make baseless accusations before they possess the facts about these operations. accusations that turned out to be without foundation and caused harm and confusion. still, larry alt wants to see those responsible held accountable. >> i would say the persons responsible for this case, both at the field level, the division level, and at the headquarters level, and as far as it went into the department of justice should be held accountable for
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any decision they made that allowed these guns to go on the street unmonitored. >> there is a hearing on capitol hill tomorrow and the inspector general is expected to testify about his new report. democrats and republicans are both claiming to be vindicated, kate? >> yes, it seems like this will be the closest anyone will have for as answer for all of the questions around this horribly botched operation. a sign in afghanistan, nato suspends patrols with afghan security forces after a series of deadly attacks. droid does. and does it launch apps by voice while learning your voice ? launch cab4me. droid does. keep left at the fork. does it do turn-by-turn navigation ? droid does. with verizon, america's largest 4g lte network, and motorola, droid does. get $100 off select motorola 4g lte smartphones
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nato forces announcing that he is limiting joint patrols with the afghan military. the order follows a series of insider attacks, deadly ones, by uniformed afghanis that left more than 50 troops dead this year alone. and fareed zakaria is joining us right now, it's shocking to me that there are about 80,000 troo troops in afghanistan that are supposed to stay for another two years, but no longer we trust the afghan police to nato forces can go out on joint patrols with them because the u.s. is afraid they will kill american troops, this is outrageous. >> it's a break down of the entire strategy we put into place since general petraeus
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announced the counterinsurgency doctrine. build trust with the locals, they know the land better, so when you try to figure out who are the good guys, who are the bad guys, that's all done with the help from the locals. if you can't trust the locals, or the people who will be your guides, what are we doing there? what we really need to be asking ourselves is have we expanded the army and police force way too fast in the search for the exits. if that's the case, we need to stop that expansion, weed out the bad elements, but as long as we're there, we have to do joint patrols with locals. >> here is a line you wrote the other day, let me read it to you. it involves the u.s., israel, and iran. israel's rhetoric over the past year had seemed to me designed
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to force the international community into action and the united states into hyperaction. you go on to write that we should have a national debate before the united states finds itself going to war in the committees again on auto-pilot. what is your major concern here? >> my major concern, wolf, is that in order to assure the israelis government, that we are taking every effort we can, we are locking ourselves into certain, almost guarantees of action. if the iranians do this, we will not allow them to acquire a nuclear weapon. all options are on the table. the more statements you make,th less room you leave yourself to maneuver. we might find ourselves in a situation that in order to take care of israel's concerns, we lock ourselves in a train to war
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where we don't have an easy exit. i think if we will strike iran, we recognize this is a major, major military adventure or mission. it is the third middle eastern war we will be starting. it could have very large repercussions. iran is three times the size of iraq with three times the population. we need to be clear that we're understanding all of that, and not do it on auto-pilot, because of certain guarantees we made to the international community. there's a line in international relations theory that says two things are very expensive in international politics. promises when they succeed, and threats when they fail. my fear is that we're putting in place policies and threats without being conscious. >> and it's certainly worthy of a major national debate as you
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point out before another war begins. thank you. be thorough so watch global lessons, "putting america to work." it will be on at 8:00 p.m. eastern. still ahead, the rich getting richer, where bill gates comes in on the list of the wealthiest americans. all energy development comes with some risk, but proven technologies allow natural gas producers to supply affordable, cleaner energy, while protecting our environment. across america, these technologies protect air - by monitoring air quality and reducing emissions... ...protect water - through conservation and self-contained recycling systems... ... and protect land - by reducing our footprint and respecting wildlife.
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kate has more of the other news we're following. >> a former political prisoner received the u.s. congressional gold metal today. she spent 15 years around house arrest in former burma. senator mccain paid an emotional tribute. >> i want to thank you. i want to thank you, my friend, the lady, for teaching me at my age, a thing or two about courage, and for reminding me to
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always expect justice to try jump over injustice, goodness over evil, love over hate. >> very sweet words. she won the 1991 noble peace prize. also, tonight, bill gates is richer than he was last year. probably no surprise to many of you. he tops the list of forbes 400 list followed by warren buffet, both saw a $7 billion increase this year. the two have led an effort to get fellow billionaires to donate much of their wealth to charity. and her look was unforgettable, and the fanning mom is changing her ways. she was accused of taking her 6-year-old to a tanning salon. she denies the charge, and now
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she is helping promote a book on healthy skin care to raise money for the skin cancer foundation. i guess you can always change your ways. >> tanning did not look good on her. not at all. thank you. he wants to cut usa to libya, egypt, and pac stan, senator rand paul is joining us to explain why. hi, i'm phil mickelson. i've been fortunate to win on golf's biggest stages. but when joint pain and stiffness from psoriatic arthritis hit, even the smallest things became difficult. i finally understood what serious joint pain is like. i talked to my rheumatologist and he prescribed enbrel. enbrel can help relieve pain, stiffness, and stop joint damage. because enbrel, etanercept, suppresses your immune system, it may lower your ability to fight infections. serious, sometimes fatal events including infections, tuberculosis, lymphoma, other cancers,
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libya. and now one lawmaker is demands justice in return. the house easily passed a sixth month stopgap spending measure last week. the senate is expected to follow suit to lawmakers can go home and focus on campaigning. to wolf's point, one senator is threatening to hold that. . senator rand paul. listen here. >> my position is not one penny more for libya or egypt, or pakistan until they act like our alleys. some say we have to keep sending it, fine. let's send it when they act like our alleys. let's send it when they start behaving like civilized nations and come to their senses. >> that sent off a wave of tough
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criticism from both sides of the isle. >> the arrogance of suggesting we're going to judge if they're civilized today or tomorrow because a mob, or a bunch of militants take matters into their own hands, would be so self defeating and the most narrow effort you could think of. it would be profoundly negative and could contribute to more violence, not step it if that was our reaction. if we turn our backs now on the millions of people in libya, egypt, syria, and other countries across the middle east, people who are the true authors of the arab spring, we will hand our common enemies the terrorists and extremists the victory they seek.
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>> rand paul is joining us now. go ahead and respond. obviouslyly senator kerry and mccain are against it. >> today, senator kerry said that iraq, letting iran fly over iraq to supply syria, maybe their aid should be contingent on not allowing the fly overs. so he is saying behavior of a country should matter whether or not they get our aid. and for pakistan, people agree that we should not send money to a country who tortures and incarcerates the man that helped us get osama bin laden. that's not a true alley, and they're aid should be contingent on them acting like an alley.
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>> listen to what was said last week when we asked frances townsend about this. >> it's a huge return on investment when you try to convince people that what united states engages in is not an assault on islam, you want to establish a creditability with the people of those countries. >> what do you say, she says that's a huge return on investment when you try to establish credibility in those countries, is that not a fair point? >> it's a pretty consistent point from here. people say it's on $30 billion. they say that about every $30 billion in the budget and it goes on and on and on. the other question is do you think you can bribe people and make them your friends. england is our friend, but we don't have to bribe them with money. or france or germany. many of the countries, the money
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has been stolen. look at some of these other countries, are they our alley or not? look at mubutu in the congo, his country does not have running water and electricity and they went shopping and spent millions. they steel our money, cash our check, and they snicker and turn aside and laugh at all. and i say no more. a trillion dollar deaf sficit ae can't do it any more. >> is it fair to say you have opposed all foreign said to all countries for a long time? not just these three? >> i have been pretty consistent
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they think foreign aid is a bad idea. really, the whole concept i think is flawed. it doesn't mean we don't have to engage. the other side says oh, you want to disengage? i want to have relationships with pakistan, i think they're one of the most worrisome areas in the world right now, more so than iran to tell you the truth. i want to be engaged, adjust don't think bribing them works. >> senator, one important note is that regardless of the filibuster threat, it's going to happen, it will either go through tomorrow or it will stay and get passed on sunday. so are you creating gridlock to stop when you came to to change. >> no, i believe we don't have money to keep wasting and i think i'm close to getting a
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vote on this. if you stand up, and the other side respects this, i had several conversations with senator harry reed. i don't think he agrees with me on this, but he has respect and admiration that you can come fight for things you believe in and ultimately there will be a compromise. i'm willing to compromise and part of getting this vote will mean that i have to compromise and allow something i don't want to happen will happen, but there will be a give and take and i think i have a very good chance right now, better than 90% chance i think that i will have. let me ask you about mitt romney's comments back in may about the 47% that don't pay federal income tax are victims, if you will. do you agree with mitt romney on this issue? a few other of your republicans, colleagues including scott browne of massachusetts have run away from him as quickly as they can on this issue. >> i think some people look at
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this superficially, but it's really about vision. president obama thinks you can grow the economy by growing government workers. governor romney knows those people are in the wagon. they're not bad people, but they are something that the private sector has to grow in order to hire government workers, but your economy doesn't recover, and this is a fundamental problem that president obama misunderstands about the economy. you can't do it by growing more government workers. >> so i can put you down as agrees with mitt romney on those controversial words? >> i would say it illustrates the difference between the two candidates. i think governor romney really believes in the private sector, and i think president obama
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believes the opposite, that we grow the government sector, and i think that's wrong. >> we won't get into a debate on that, but i think the president wants the private sector to grow, he didn't necessarily succeed, but he would like to see the private sector grow as well. different strategies on how to do it but we'll leave that for more conversation down the road. up next, more of mitt romney's words and their impact on capitol hill. (train horn) vo: wherever our trains go, the economy comes to life. norfolk southern. one line, infinite possibilities.
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some republican lawmakers are seeking cover from the fall out from mitt romney's
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disparaging reparks about the obama supporters. he portrayed them as dependent victims of government handouts. dana, what's the latest? >> i had conversations with so many lawmakers who said what they thought romney was trying to say. they're trying to clarify what he said. and for those in trouble in their own races, it made them very nervous. >> there is no -- >> dean is one of the republican senators in a difficult race this year and he distanced himself from mitt romney's caught on tape comments. i don't write anybody off, i have five brothers and strs, my father was an auto mechanic, i
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have a very different view of the world. one of the responsibilities of the federal government is a safety net. i believe in a safety net and i believe that's a responsibility of the government. other gop lawmakers were even more candid. romney's comments were called unfortunate and unhelpful. >> it is surprising a candidate would make that kind of a comment. >> congressman graham says he is not spending enough time retail campaigning in swing states. if i were mitt romney, no person could go very long without meeting me, but democrats are down right giddy. >> people are running from romney like the politics are back on. >> they predict the 47 account
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controversy is helping in swing districts. a fair number of republicans, mostly those in safe seats, are defending, at least, the spirit of romney's point. >> the idea is look we have too many people on government dependence. we have to move them off of it. >> perhaps the most telling moment of the day was the senate republican leader who almost always answers questions, left early, and other gop leaders did not stick around for any awkward questions on romney either. >> now gop strategists involved in trying to retake control of the senate for republicans in november say that they're goal all along, and their hope, was for romney to at least stay competitive with president obama, that's the top of the ticket for republicans to continue to do well in their senate races. one top gop source said at this
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point their looking at an open question about whether or not this is the beginning of a downward spiral, or if it's just a rough patch. >> the election is only 48 days away, thank you for that, dana. >> you can always expect harry reid to give a giddy comment. coming, up, a biblical mystery. you've been busy for a dead man. after you jumped ship in bangkok, i thought i'd lost you. surfing is my life now. but who's going to .... tell the world that priceline has even faster, easier ways to save you money. . . on hotels, flights & cars? you still have it. i'll always have it. so this is it? we'll see where the waves take me. sayonara, brah!
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an ancient scrap of papyrus is reviving an ancient debate, was jesus married?
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>> it is being studies and they think that jesus said "my wife." i want to call it a controversy, but it's not. it's getting a lot of buzz. >> it is, experts say it doesn't appear to be a forgery, but there is still a lot more tests to be done, but it is adding to the intrigue of did jesus have a wife? >> it is a fragment, afraided piece of papyrus "jesus said to them, my wife." karen king did the translation. >> when i first saw it, it was through a photograph. and i could not believe it. once we finally came to the decision that it said "jesus said to them, my wife." it was really an astonishing moment.
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this new fragment has jesus saying "my wife." it's being presented in a new documentary on the smithsonian channel. the fragment is an intriguing element to a question that has been debated for centuries, was jesus married? and was his gospels make no reference to jesus having a wife. what we're talking about is written on a scrap of paper no bigger than this business card and what's missing in all of this is context. >> very few words are legible. jesus, disciples, wife. but question arises immediately, is this the same jesus they're talking about? >> although it is authentic, it is not -- which means it is not inspired words of god because it's not part of the cannon.
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not part of the 27 books of the new testament. >> where did it come from? it belongs to a private collector who wishes to stay anonymous. it looks to be consistent with the second and fourth centuries and the rest, what happened to it? this fragment mysterious as it is, doesn't offer definitive conclusion. >> this fragment does not prove that he was married. nor does it prove he's not married. we have the earliest reliable historical tradition is silent on that, so we're in the same position we were before it was found. we don't know if he was married or not. >> perhaps, a phenomenal new clue or perhaps just a scrap of ancient text. all of this comes as the church looks at present day issues like should priests be allowed to
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marry? should women be allowed to serve as priests? we know so much about the birth, teachings and leader life, but there are periods in the middle that remain a mystery. >> scholars will be studying this forever. >> and this happened years ago. to try to piece together what happened, that's the challenge. >> one and a half by three? >> it's the size of a business card and that's a scrap from what is supposedly a whole gospel, the whole book. >> let the debate continue. popcorn at the sound of your voice. it turns out there's more to the pop popinator. [ male announcer ] how do you engineer a true automotive breakthrough? ♪ you give it bold new styling, unsurpassed luxury and nearly 1,000 improvements. introducing the redesigned 2013 glk.
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happier than eddie money running a travel agency. get happy. get geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more. t space shuttle "endeavour" embarks on a final journey. our video of the day coming up next. but i had already gone through menopause. these symptoms may be nothing... but they could be early warning signs of a gynecologic cancer, such as cervical, ovarian, or uterine cancer. feeling bloated for no reason. that's what i remember. seeing my doctor probably saved my life. warning signs are not the same for everyone. if you think something's wrong... see your doctor. ask about gynecologic cancer. and get the inside knowledge. see life in the best light. [music] transitions® lenses automatically filter just the right amount of light. so you see everything the way it's meant to be seen. experience life well lit, ask for transitions adaptive lenses.
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florida's a popular place to retire, but one retiree is heading west. space shuttle "endeavour" left the sunshine state this morning riding atop a 4747 for a three-day journey to california. on friday, it will fly over much of the state before landing in los angeles, where it will be carefully paraded through city streets to the california science center, where it will go on permanent display. we may watch that video over and over again. i love seeing that piggy back ride that it takes. >> what they do. >> now they're going to become very large museum pieces. >> you can file this one under if it sounds too good to be true, it is. jeanne moos has the real story behind the popinator.
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>> it is our duhty to expose the popinator! pop. yeah. >> forget grubby, greasy hands. it launches kernels on command. >> it is a fully automated, voice activated, popcorn launching machine triggered by the word, pop. >> now, which of those words are actual actually true? >> it uses a microphone system. >> it's able to decipher the word, pop, and locate where the sound originates to find your mouth. nah, not really. never the less, it is still -- >> the iphone of popcorn delivery systems. >> pop. >> the video has taken the web by storm. and taken in tv anchor, even pee wee herman, a guy who knows a
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thing or two about automated food. we did the future of popcorn is here. actually, it's more like a future of viral marketing. the cofounders dreamed of -- the only existing prototype fires not on voice command, but by remote control. pop. the video's become such a sensation -- >> not only people want the machine, but companies are calling to see if they can license it to mass produce it. >> but there's tlk of actually mass producing a voice activated version. we'll believe it when we see it. engineers spent a couple of months diesigning the popinator. >> in some case, it took three. in some cases, it took 15. >> it took me more than that. >> pop. over my head. pop. bouncing off my teeth. pop.
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you know who's not going to appreciate the popinator? the cleaning service. pop. imagine the fun at staff meetings. we have a popcorn emergency. well, the thing called the popinator happened. there are some places even facilities can't clean. >> pop. >> with hair rather than a kernel of truth in my mouth. >> so you go to the movies with the popinator, watching a serious film and hear some guy saying, pop. >> like an air gun going off. please silence your phones and popinators. >> it only sends you one little kernel at a time. one little piece of popcorn. >> portion control. >> you want to eat. you want to take a handful. >> i have always

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